Types of Employment in Australia

Types of Employment Options In Australia

Businesses can engage staff to perform work via six main types of employment.  All types have their pros and cons for both the employee and employer.  Typically, employers have already decided how they wish to engage their staff before they start the recruitment process.  It’s important for employees to consider what type of employment they are searching for to make sure their needs are being met in their job search.  To help you better grasp the six different types of employment, here is a list to further define these employment types.

1. Full-Time Employment

Full-time employment is when you are employed with a contract for ongoing employment and paid directly by an employer to work 38 hours.  For those that seek a steady income with the security of long-term financial rewards, full-time employment is the way to go. This is the most common type of employment, as it provides for a stable and well-defined career path. 

Full-Time Employment

As a full-time employee, you’ll have regular hours and typically work the same work schedule every week. This could be within standard business hours, or could be an alternative pattern of hours but is consistent week to week.  Full time workers are entitled to annual leave, sick leave and personal leave.  And, if you’re lucky enough to be hired into a well-established and respected company, you might even receive bonuses or stock options.

2. Part-Time Employment

Part-time employment is when a worker is engaged on an ongoing basis with an employer and works a set roster of less than 38 hours per week.  If you are a student, a parent; you have a second job or just don’t want to work as a full-time employee – whatever the case may be, being a part-time employee can be a great option.  You get to contribute your services and skills to the workforce, earn an income, whilst also having time available to pursue other commitments and interests. Typically, you will be paid on a pro-rata basis for your hours of work.

Part-Time Employment

For example, if you work 19 hours per week and a typical full-time workload is 38 hours, you will receive 50% of a full-time wage.  As part-time workers are considered permanent staff, they also accrue leave entitlements, such as annual and sick leave.   These will accumulate based on

3. Casual Employees

A casual worker is a person who works on an intermittent and irregular basis for an employer.  They have an hourly rate, often with casual loading and are not guaranteed any ongoing work. In many cases, casual employment is associated with summer jobs or extra cash.  This type of employment can also be commonplace in certain industries, such as hospitality, beauty, tourism and retail. Casual workers can be a great addition to your roster of skills and the side gig can allow workers to cover or save up for those unexpected expenses.

Casual Employment

Whether you’re a student, parent, or just someone that loves to work, being employment on a casual basis can be a wonderful opportunity for people with different types of lives.  Casual employees are only expected to work when needed by an employer, which could mean working weekends and public holidays. This flexibility brings employers the greatest freedom in the workforce and reduces the risk of uncertainty, as casual employees are not entitled to the same worker rights as full-time employees.  This can obviously be a downside for the worker.  Job seekers and workers really need to consider all the pros and cons of casual employment before applying and accepting a casual position.

4. Contract Workers

Contract workers are hired for a specified period of time to work on a specific project or task, often for a specified wage and/or fee. This type of employment works well with other types of employment, as they can help you offset your working expenses, save you money or give you an opportunity to work in a different field. The greatest thing about contract employment is that it can provide you with experience in another industry while also giving you the chance to diversify your skill set.

Contract Workers

But remember, because contract work is less stable than full-time employment as you have a fixed-term contract, you will want to negotiate your contract carefully.

5. Apprentices and Trainees

If you’re young, trying to break into a new industry, or simply don’t have the experience or skills to be hired by a company, apprenticeships and traineeships may be the right fit for you. Apprenticeships and traineeships are intended to help an individual acquire the skills necessary to be a successful employee. Traineeships will provide you with hands-on experience in a work environment, while apprenticeships will allow you to learn under the direction of a mentor.

Apprentices and Trainees

Most official apprentice and trainee programs start at a reduced apprentice wage to cater for the lack of experience and skills that are being obtained on the job.  The salary typically increases over the years as the employee becomes more competent and experienced in their field.  Apprentices and trainees usually have a set end date, there is no guarantee of securing a permanent position when finished.  Sometimes, your hard work and dedication can get you hired as a permanent employee in the same company.  This is easier than having to start a traditional job hunt at the end of your training.

6. Commission-Based Workers

If you’re someone who loves to work alone or at least prefers to work independently, a commission-based job may be the perfect fit for you. Commission-based employees earn their income based on how many sales they generate for their company. Essentially, they have the freedom to set their own hours and decide how much work they’ll put in, if they meet their quotas. If you’ve got a competitive spirit and can find your own rhythm and motivation, then you’ll love working as a commission-based employee. A commission is generally calculated based on a percentage of the sales generated for a business. 

Commission-Based Workers

This can be an upfront commission and/or a trailing commission, meaning that ongoing revenue brought in from those sales will generate a percentage of income for the worker.  For those who prefer to complete their work quickly and efficiently, commission-based may be the right fit for you.  The risk for commission-based workers is with them, as the employer doesn’t have to pay if they don’t generate the needed results.

These six employment types allow employers to have the flexibility to engage with individuals as they need.  Whether it’s in a permanent role working on a regular basis (either full-time or part-time), or a non-permanent role (casual, contract worker, apprentice/trainee or commission-based worker).  As a job seeker, it’s important not only to consider what you want to do for a living, but how you want to be employed/engaged to do that work.  This is also the case for existing employees.  Knowing what the different types of worker options are, will allow you the ability to discuss with your employer if you wish to make changes to your employment contract to better suit your lifestyle.